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Eyes to the Skies

Sunday Morning Falcon Watch - 9/25/16

September 25th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Made the rounds today to check on the Rochester Falcons and found all six of them enjoying the beautiful fall day.

Here they are!

1-genesee-on-cgt-9-25-16<— Genesee on the Coast Guard Tower.

6-billie-and-seth-at-st-9-25-16<— Billie and Seth sharing a meal at Seneca Towers.

7-beauty-in-ocsr-elevator-shaft-9-25-16<— Beauty Up Inside the OCSR Elevator Shaft.

9-dotca-fly-by-powers-flag-9-25-16<— A Dot.ca Fly By below the Powers Bldg Flag.  Look below the flag on the left side of the pole.  :)

8-bs-falcon-9-25-16<— Falcon (female) at the BS Location.

I thought I’d share a couple pics I took of Genesee when he visited with us in a tree on the Charlotte Beach.  (9/5/16)  Enjoy!


1st Day of Fall Morning Falcon Watch - 9/22/16

September 22nd, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Happy First day of Fall!  It may be Fall, but it sure feels like mid-Summer with temps hitting the mid 80’s this afternoon.

I arrived  for my morning Genesee watch on the Charlotte side of the Genesee River just as the sun was rising.  Genesee was on top of the Coast Guard Tower.  According to Dana, who was watching from the Summerville side, he had just finished his breakfast.

1-genesee-on-cgt-9-22-16<— Genesee on the Coast Guard Tower (CGT) after finishing his breakfast.

2-fall-sunrise-9-22-16<— First Fall Sunrise.

I was taking a few pictures of the sunrise and hadn’t noticed that Genesee had left the CGT.  My first clue was when I heard the river gulls start to scream!  Genesee was swooping up and down the river, diving on all the gulls located there.  As he swooped low, just missing the gulls, they would scream and attempt to take off.  It seemed like it went on forever, but it was only a few moments.  lol

At one point, Genesee flew low, just above me looking down.  I really got the feeling that this was just a whole lot of fun for him.  :)

3-genesee-chasing-gulls-9-22-16<— Genesee Chasing Gulls on the Genesee River.

4-genesee-chasing-gulls-9-22-16<— Genesee Flying Over the River.

When he was done with his “game”, he returned to the top of the Coast Guard Tower.

5-genesee-on-cgt-9-22-16<— Genesee on top of the CGT.

He remained there for quite awhile before taking off and heading south, following the Genesee River.  Some day we’ll figure out where he goes.

6-genesee-on-cgt-9-22-16<— Genesee Taking off from the CGT.

10-genesee-river-looking-south-9-22-16<— Looking South Down the Genesee River.  The direction Genesee has been taking when he leaves the CGT in the morning.

Dana joined me on the Charlotte side and we waited to see if Genesee would return.  After an hour, when he didn’t return, we ended our Genesee morning watch.

I decided to check out our other Rochester Falcons.

I first found who I believe was Billie on top of the antenna on the Kodak Research Labs building.

11-billie-maybe-on-research-labs-9-22-16<— Billie, I believe, on the Kodak Research Labs.

From Maplewood Park, I could see a smaller falcon on the north end window ledge of Seneca Towers.  Seth?

12-seth-maybe-on-st-9-22-16<— Seth, I believe, on Seneca Towers, North End Window Ledge.

My next stop was downtown Rochester, where I found a falcon on the south side, top Ibeam of OCSR, facing the building.  I could not tell if it was Beauty or Dot.ca.  I do believe it was Dot.ca.

13-dc-on-ocsr-9-22-1614-dc-on-ocsr-9-22-16<— I believe this was Dot.ca on north side of OCSR.

After looking all over for a 2nd falcon and not finding one, I headed over to the BS location.  On the east side of the building, I found the unbanded falcon on the 4th window down, Others that have seen this falcon believe that it is a female.  I have to agree, based on size.  She was sitting in a little bit of shade, dozing on and off.

15-bs-falcon-9-22-161<— Falcon at the BS location, snoozing in the shade.

After spending a little bit of time with her, I headed back to downtown Rochester.  From the Andrews St Bridge, I could see that Beauty had joined Dot.ca on the top IBeam of OCSR on the north side.

16-beauty-on-ocsr-9-22-16<—Beauty on OCSR.

I reported that it was DC that took off, flew over the Powers Bldg and then returned to OCSR.  But it was actually Beauty that took off and landed on the 2nd IBeam down, below Dot.ca.

17-bdc-9-22-16<— Dot.ca and Beauty on OCSR.

18-beauty-on-ocsr-9-22-16<— Beauty on OCSR below Dot.ca.

It was getting really warm, and I was happy to end my morning falcon watch after seeing 6 of our Rochester Falcons.  Tomorrow it will be much cooler with temperatures going into the mid-60’s and a chance of rain.  Happy Fall Everyone!

Genesee Falcon Report - Tuesday Morning - 9/20/16

September 20th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was a gorgeous Tuesday morning here in Rochester, NY.  Cool, but sunny, with temps going up into the  80’s later today.

I really do love watching this young falcon.  :)

When I arrived on the Charlotte side of the river this morning, Genesee had already successfully hunted and was eating on top of the Coast Guard Tower (CGT).  Dana had arrived before me, but had also missed his hunt.

1-genesee-on-cgt-9-20-16<— Genesee on CGT after finishing his meal.

After finishing his meal, Genesee preened and stretched, watching everything around him.  When a Coopers Hawk flew through the area, Genesee watched it, but remained where he was.

2-coopers-hawk-fly-by-9-20-16<— Coopers Hawk Fly By.

After awhile, Genesee took off, stooping over the river towards Charlotte Beach.  With the bright sun behind him.  We could see the gulls that had been on the beach take off as he passed over them.  It wasn’t long before he returned to the top of the CGT.

Again he settled into a good preen, making sure all his feathers were back where they needed to be.  lol

After all was in order, Genesee was again in hunt mode, alert to all that surrounded him.  A small bird flew by below him heading south down the river.  Genesee went into a stoop and the chase was on!  The very lucky small bird dove into the trees and Genesee decided to swoop low over the river, scaring up all the gulls that had been on the water.

3-genesee-stooping-9-20-164-genesee-stooping-9-20-16<— Genesee stooping off of the CGT, chasing a small bird.

Genesee continued south, over the river and then headed west.  We did our best to find him, but couldn’t.

We waited about an hour hoping he would return.  When he didn’t, we ended our morning Genesee Falcon Watch.

Watching Genesee - Behavior of a Young Falcon - 9/18/16

September 19th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It’s not very often that we are given the gift of watching a Peregrine Falcon just starting its 2nd year.  So many do not survive their first year.  This young falcon is very special to the Rochester Falcon Watchers.  His name is Genesee, son of Beauty and Dot.ca and he hatched in the nest box on top of the Times Square Bldg, downtown Rochester in 2015.

I had the honor of watching him hatch, grow and fledge.  Now I am very happy to have seen him change from his juvie brown to his adult dark steel gray and white plumage.  Like I said, a gift. :)

I and other watchers have been spending a lot of time watching him.  He has been spending much of his time at the north end of the Genesee  River where it flows into Lake Ontario.  He is so appropriately named.  Watching his behavior is fascinating.

Genesee’s diet consists of mostly Mourning Doves and small shore birds.  He usually hunts early morning and late evening.

In the morning, he will take full advantage of the rising sun on the east side of the piers (Charlotte and Summerville).  Many times I have witnessed him take off from the Coast Guard Station tower, heading north to the end of the piers.  He will then turn left (west).  The sun is now at his back.  He usually heads back towards the beach and the trees and buildings there.  His prey would have a very hard time seeing Genesee flying towards them due to the bright morning sun.

Up until this weekend, his only aggressive behavior has been to stoop on and hit a passing Ring-billed Gull.  But something changed this weekend.

Early Sunday morning, 9/18/16, Dana and I set-up for a watch on the Charlotte side of the Genesee River (west side).  From there we had a great view of Genesee on top of the Coast Guard tower (CGT).  He was looking around, aware of everything.  No duck would fly by that he didn’t notice.  During the 6 hours of our watch, Genesee was very active.  He was in hunt mode, successful once that we know of.  The most exciting part of the watch was seeing Genesee becoming very territorial.

Turkey Vultures filled the sky, but he totally ignored them.  When a Merlin came through on a hunt, Genesee began kakking loudly.  He took off and flew over us heading west.  At first we weren’t sure what he was after, but then a Merlin flew over after chasing a bunch of pigeons.  Genesee chased the Merlin out of the area and settled back on the CGT.  He continued to kak and then finally was quiet.

It wasn’t long before Genesee started kakking again.  He took off and stooped over the trees near the Charlotte beach.  This time it was a Red-tailed Hawk that was Genesee’s target.  KAK KAK KAK!  The Red-tailed Hawk attempted to escape as Genesee stooped on it over and over again.  We saw the Red-tail fly to the east and Genesee again returned to the CGT.  This same territorial behavior was repeated one more time with another Red-tailed Hawk.  This was my first time hearing Genesee KAK and chase away other raptors.  Very interesting.

Here are some pictures I took of Genesee from this past weekend.  Enjoy! (Be sure to click on any pictures you would like to see larger.)

12-genesee-9-19-16<— Genesee on the Coast Guard Tower.

13-genesee-9-19-16<— Genesee Flying Over on a Hunt.

14-genesee-chasing-gull-9-19-16<— Genesee Chasing a Gull.

15-genesee-and-rth-9-19-16<— Genesee Stooping on a Red-tailed Hawk.

16-turkey-vulture-9-19-16<— One of the many Turkey Vultures Flying Over. Genesee ignored them.

17-genesee-fans-9-19-16<— Genesee is gaining lots of fans! :)

18-genesee-fly-over-9-19-16<— Genesee Fly Over.

19-genesee-on-cg-tower-9-19-16<— Genesee on the Coast Guard Tower.

It will be very interesting to see if Genesee will hang out here during the winter.

Morning Falcon Watch 9-14-16

September 14th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was overcast with a temperature of 68 (F) 20 (C) with a few sprinkles of rain on and off

I checked the Veterans Memorial bridge from the west side balcony and found a falcon on the south side ledge. It had its back to me-it had white on the tips of its tail feathers which usually indicates a juvenile. However, it had the steel gray colored feathers of an adult so maybe a sub adult. I left it to eat my breakfast and when I returned it was gone.

img_0002-juvie-maybe img_0003-hmm-who-is-this

When I arrived downtown on the Andrews St. bridge, I spotted Dot.ca (DC) on the southeast cube of the Frontier Communications Tower (FCT). I drove over to the City Hall parking lot for closer viewing.

img_0005-dc img_0007-dc img_0009-hello-dc-long-time-no-see

While I was scoping out the rest of the tower with my binoculars DC left. Next stop was the Court St. bridge (CSB) where I checked out the river between CSB and the Broad St. bridge (BSB). Ducks and gulls only were present.

img_0011-ducks-in-the-river img_0013-gull-and-duck img_0014-quack-quack img_0015-buddies

I spotted a falcon on the top I-beam of OCSR near the west corner so I left for the hole (Aqueduct St.) in order to ID it as DC. He had a full crop.

img_0019-dc img_0021-dc-has-a-full-crop img_0022-looking-for-his-girl

I was pleasantly surprised when I spotted Beauty on the Wilder building green strip. She was snoozing on and off.

img_0023-beauty img_0024-hi-beautyful-good-to-see-you img_0025-catching-a-wink img_0027-beauty

The Beautyful one woke up on and off to watch sparrows zipping around below her. She didn’t appear to have anything her crop so I’m sure breakfast was on her mind.

img_0029-beauty img_0032-rude-awakening img_0033-watching-a-little-birdie img_0039-preening

While I was checking on DC over on OCSR Beauty flew off and half a minute later DC followed.


I wasn’t able to locate them again and when I got home to Seneca Towers I spotted a falcon fly from the north end of the building to the east. I ended my watch around 10:40 smiling as I hadn’t seen Beauty and DC for a while and was happy they both showed up for me! :)

Check out the link below to see snippets from today’s watch


Short Falcon Watch 9-8-16

September 8th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

The temperature was 89 (F) 32 (C) with high humidity and a very busy breeze as a cold front approaches to bring cooler temperatures

A falcon has been seen at the Brighton Site (BS) for the last couple days so I have checked out the sight while walking fellow watcher, Jeanne’s dog Bella. Yesterday we didn’t find it but today there was one that looked small to me-perhaps, a male with no leg bands that I could see. I’ve not done any falcon watching lately so I’m rusty and so it could very well be a female. This PEFA was on the east side of the building on a window ledge 4 floors down in the corner where it meets the southeast extension. When we first pulled into the parking lot he was standing sideways giving us a profile shot.


This falcon was in the shade and panting slightly to keep itself cool from the heat. I took a couple more pics then Bella and I went for a short walk in the shade.

img_0003-001-bs-falcon-panting-to-keep-cool img_0005-turning-its-head-a-bit img_0006-ready-to-turn-its-back-to-me

When we got back the falcon had its back to us.


This is how we left the falcon as it didn’t seem like it was going to be doing much more than trying to stay cool. On my way home, I checked downtown but came up empty and the same thing at Seneca Towers (ST). This morning I took a few pics from my living room window of the west side river gorge and Seth Green Park trees-the leaves have been changing for a while now.

Click on the pics to see the full version

img_0001-west-side img_0002-seth-green-park img_0003-seth-green-park

It seems that most of them are dead brown leaves rather than colored-this is due most likely to the extra hot weather and severe drought conditions this summer. It was good to see our visitor at the BS location-it put a smile on this watchers face! :)

Beach Party With Genesee - 9/5/2016 Falcon Watch From Pat

September 5th, 2016

I thought now might be a good opportunity to try to post my first falcon watch report. I joined Dana and Kathy this morning in Summerville, watching Genesee on the Coast Guard Radio Tower. He finished eating a late breakfast Genesee on CG Radio Tower He left shortly after I took the photo, and two crows immediately started eating his leftovers. Dana and Kathy said he flew west over the river and into a tree in Charlotte, so they headed over to Charlotte to find him. They found him perched in a tree at the beach, right next to the Charlotte pier. I joined them there later, along with Carol P and Joyce. He moved a few times, but stayed right in the same area for several hours. We talked to several people who were interested in what we were looking at, and they were thrilled to see him. We met some people from Toronto, Harrisburg PA and Arizona. The Harrisburg and Phoenix people knew about the falcons in their area, but the Toronto people did not, so we gave them the rundown on the various sites there. Genesee2Genesee3Genesee4dscf58503

What a way to spend the day, at the beach with friends and a falcon! AND…I got my first band picture, even though we all knew it was Genesee. Still, he kindly obliged and showed us his band. dscf5866

A Nice Visit with Billie at the Old Medley Center - 8/18/16

August 29th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Although we haven’t been reporting much lately, a few of the watchers have been keeping an eye on our Rochester Falcons.  Both Beauty and Dot.ca have been seen quite frequently hanging out on their favorite downtown spots, including the Frontier Communication Tower and the old Changing Scene’s Restaurant just to name a couple.  Our Rfalconcam cameras have caught them renewing their vows and bowing to each other in the Powers Bldg nest box.  This seems to be a favorite spot for them in the off season. None of our juvies have been spotted in quite awhile, so they are off on their life journey’s.  Farewell young falcons! We hope to see you again!

Back on 8/18, I spent a few hours watching Billie from Seneca Towers.  She is very special to me.  A granddaughter of Mariah and Kaver.  I truly love that their legacy continues…..

Here are a few pictures from our visit.  Please enjoy!




My Last Visit with a Juvie - Leo on 8/2/16

August 11th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

My last sighting of a juvie was on August 2nd.  It was Leo and he flew up to roof of City Place with Beauty, who gave him a small bird.

4-beauty-on-city-place-8-2-16<— Beauty on City Place After Giving Food to Leo.

Leo then flew over to the Widow’s Walk (WW) to enjoy his small meal and Beauty followed him.  There was a lot of vocalization between them.  She was on the northwest corner watching over him.

6-leo-on-ww-with-food-8-2-16<— Leo on Widow’s Walk with Food.

5-beauty-on-ww-watching-over-leo-8-2-16<— Beauty on Widow’s Walk Watching Over Leo as he Ate.

After he ate his fill, Leo took off with his leftovers, heading north.

2-leo-with-food-on-ww-8-2-16<— Leo Took Off with his Leftovers Heading North.

Leo landed on top of City Place.

3-leo-on-city-place-with-food-8-2-16<— Leo on City Place with His Leftovers.

A few moments later, Beauty joined him.  Leo very loudly let his mom know that he did not want to share.  He grabbed his small bird and headed west with it.

1-leo-and-beauty-on-city-place-bldg-8-2-16<— Leo was not happy when Beauty joined him on City Place.

After both Beauty and Leo left, I attempted to find him, but had no luck.  Later that morning, I did find a juvie within the framework of the Frontier Communication Tower, but was unable to get a positive ID.

This was the last time I saw a juvie downtown.  Beauty and  Dot.ca are seen most days and many of the watchers are still checking out the downtown area.  If any juvies are seen, we will be sure to post about it here.

Safe travels young falcons!

Quick afternoon watch at Seneca Towers 8-9-16

August 9th, 2016

Hi folks!

I’ve been home from Arkansas for 5 weeks now and have grown increasingly concerned that I hadn’t seen Billie or Seth since my return. The mid-western PEFA, Buckee had been seen at the Hawkeye plant (half mile from Seneca Towers) with an unbanded adult male so I’d been thinking perhaps they had taken over the territory as I also saw an unbanded male on the west side railing of ST. Today as I was making my lunch, I got a tweet that Joyce and Cheryl spotted a pair of Peregrines on the top window ledge north end of ST. I got excited as that is one of their favorite roosting spots, so I grabbed my camera and went down to meet the ladies on St. Paul Street on the route 104W overpass. We could clearly see black over green leg bands but the distance was too great to get a clear picture of the numbers. After comparing my pics from today and some old ones in the archives, I feel pretty confident that this was Billie and Seth. The first set of pics below are from past watch reports of mine and the second set is today’s pics.


Billie would be the bird on the right and Seth on the end of the ledge in the pics below. Pay close attention to the side of their faces (auricular patch,moustache) and their chest feathers


Hopefully at some point soon we will be able to get clear pics of their leg bands in order to positively identify them. Stay tuned!!! Made me smile to see falcons back on that window ledge! :)

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